Friday, August 29, 2014
Megan Nielsen Cascade Skirt
So this is not what I originally bought this fabric for.
I used to work in a fairly, um, trendy [read: hipster] neighborhood in LA, Atwater Village. It wasn't THE center of the hipster universe, but it was a little like hipster suburbia. It was where all the hipsters lived when they grew up and had families. The babies were dressed impeccably - I once saw a little toddler dude with a fauxhawk wearing skinny jeans and a man-tank than said "Brooklyn" on it. I also met a baby named Otis that wore bow ties.
Don't misunderstand, it was actually my favorite neighborhood I lived in in LA. I could walk to work and there was a weekly farmer's market at the end of my street. The little two blocks of the main drag was mostly rad small businesses. There was an organic market, a top notch bakery, a perfect boutique, a dance exercise studio, a fabric store AND a yarn store, a wine store with an underground tasting room, and multiple other good bars and restaurants. It was a good place.
Anyway, me and my coworker Haley would often see outfits/people that would require a small discussion, and one repeated sighting was Incredibly Unflattering Pants. They were always some sort of billowy, crazy printed fabric that was just shirred in around the top and then went to skinny at the ankles, and no matter the size of the wearer they always created a giant marshmallow butt.
We would wonder - to ourselves of course - how can you wear those pants that are so unflattering? How can you stand there so calmly with your iced coffee and cold pressed juice, while the folds of fabric around your hips and thighs billow in the LA traffic wind? And, why do I kind of also want a pair of these pants so I can look cool too?
We decided that we each wanted our own pair, since they would be super easy to make. So I bought some of this beautiful olive green rayon from Sew LA.
And then it sat in a box of a year.
I never did make myself a pair of Incredibly Unflattering Pants, which I can say with absolute certainty is a good thing, because without the supporting cast of fancy juice, well placed tattoos, and mild apathy, I don't think I could pull it off.
Instead, I found myself wanting to make a new nice-ish skirt for a little something special. I saw the Megan Nielsen Cascade Skirt on a few different blogs, and thought it would be the perfect pattern. I've been rambling on lately about wanting to sew more neutrals, so I was looking at all my printed rayons and hesitating and then I remembered the olive green unflattering pants yardage. Bam!
Let me start by saying that I love the final result. It feels so floaty and twirly and forest-nymph-like. The baby hem gives the edge such a nice ripply look. My waist and hips are 27-38 and I cut a small.
After reading other people's experiences, I knew I was probably going to shorten it a bit in the back. It is crazy long. But I ended up shortening this mofo three separate times. I started with the pattern pieces by taking 6" off the center back, to 3" at the side seams, to 1" at the front. [This also helped me squeeze it out of less than 2 yards.] Then after it was cut I took another couple inches off the back and side. The pattern is a pretty dramatic hi-lo, which was a little too much for me. Then after I hemmed it and tried it on, there were two weird lobes of fabric to either side of the center front that were too long - and yes, you should feel uncomfortable by the word 'lobe' because my skirt was uncomfortable to look at - so I unpicked part of the hem, trimmed them, and then rehemmed.
The final result was that somehow it's slightly shorter in the center back than at the sides of the back, which is definitely not how it was originally. But it's evenly too short, and since the whole thing is different lengths and flouncy I'm totally ok with it.
I might have gone online and ordered a rolled hem foot in the middle of doing THE LONGEST BABY HEM IN THE HISTORY OF THE UNIVERSE. Or maybe that was just part of my mid-hem hallucinations. The part of the hem that ripped out and redid does not look the greatest at the beginning and end, but only other sewers will notice if they look closely. So when I wear it around the seamster types I'll just have to stay in a constant state of motion.
I wanted to do the waistband ties but I didn't have enough fabric, so I did the button version. Which is probably more versatile in the end.
Word of caution - in the wind, the front of this skirt totally blows open. So I will probably hand tack it shut right where the two sides overlap to prevent any wardrobe malfunctions.
As for the t-shirt - this awesome buffalo check jersey is from Wanderlust Fabrics. It was lovely to work with and feels great and is printed on grain. This might be my most favorite t-shirt I've ever had. It's part of a very special thing I've been working on that I will be talking about soon!
And thanks to Nancy from The Fabric Studio Nashville for taking the pictures! No remote for once!